Sunday, July 05, 2009
Cheers to the little guy
I am one of those people (as I suspect are many who read this blog) who roots for the underdog. I laughed out loud both times in the last year as I watched a small and fierce kestrel harassing and hitting a large red-tailed hawk, making the much bigger bird flee. I like cheering for the little guy.
So it was an unexpected pleasure when Jim and I encountered a sandhill crane strolling through a hay meadow this weekend as it crossed some invisible line and became subject to an intense attack. The army the crane first encountered was a lone and furious female red-winged blackbird. This small bird nearly jumped up and down on the crane’s head, harassing it and trying to get it to leave from what was obviously her nesting territory. The distressed female was soon joined in the attack by a male blackbird, and within a matter of minutes, by several other blackbirds.
The crane, an adult male, ducked and twisted to get his head away from danger, but also attempted a few beak stabs at the more aggressive smaller birds. The crane hurried its stroll through the meadow, finally getting out of dangerous territory, and the blackbirds went back to their business. I do admire cranes, and now I have an added respect for the lowly blackbird as well.